Asking dead or absent to fulfil needs of living
Fatwa No: 348121

Question

Please read this question and answer me, even if the answer is only yes or no. If I follow the opinion of a certain man, for example, that the one who asks an absent or dead person for something that not only Allaah can do is not a disbeliever, and if I do not know which deeds are meant with this sentence, and another scholar says that asking a dead person to fulfil his need is disbelief, is it permissible for me to say, 'I do not know if asking a dead person to fulfil his need is disbelief because I do not know what is meant with this opinion (who asks an absent or dead person....), and I follow this other opinion"? Or is it impermissible because we ask the scholars if we do not know something. And I am someone who fears Allaah, praise be to Allaah, and, for example, if someone says, 'Allaah is the Lord of everything', is it permissible for me to say, 'I do not know if it is right to say this because I do not know this person and I do not want to lie about Allaah'? Please help me and answer, as I fear that this is disbelief. Please supplicate for me in all of your prayers that Allaah guides me, gives me knowledge, and lets me die as a believer, with pure monotheism; forgives my sins, and lets me enter Jannat-ul-Firdaws (the highest level in Paradise) without being taken to account or punished.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

We implore Allah, The Exalted, to guide us and inspire us to do what helps us earn His pleasure. You should know that asking the dead person to fulfill a specific need is of two kinds: supplicating the dead person by saying, 'O so-and-so, guide me, bless me with such-and-such, fulfill my needs', or the like. This is considered an act of disbelief. The other kind is to ask the dead person to supplicate Allah in one's favor, and this is not disbelief; rather, it is a means that leads to it. Such an act is considered an act of minor Shirk (a minor form of associating partners with Allah), as was stated by Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in his book Al-Qaa'idah Al-Jaleelah fi At-Tawassul wal-Waseelah. Some scholars held that the second kind is considered major disbelief; however, the most likely correct view in this regard is what we have mentioned. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 348448.

Whenever you are confused about a religious matter, you should consult the trustworthy scholars who are known for their sincere adherence to the Quran and Sunnah. If they have different views, you should follow the opinion of the scholar who is the most trustworthy in your view. Before asking and knowing the ruling on the matter, you may say, "I do not know."

You must disregard Waswaas (obsessive satanic whisperings); verily, getting carried away with Waswaas, particularly in this regard, leads to evil consequences.

Allah knows best.

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